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Vintage Photos: Sports

The1890s and early 1900s was a busy time for the formation of new sports groups. The Carman Standard reported the following: a Curling Club organized in Carman in October 1890 (1890-10-23); the Carman Turf Club held its first race meet (1892-06-21); a cricket club was organized at Starkey House (1893-05-25); a hockey club was formed (1895-01-24); and the Carman Tennis Club laid out a court in Clark’s Grove (1896-05-21).

For a larger view, click on the images

In addition to these formal organizations, sporting activities were part of most social gatherings of the era. In rural districts, school and Sunday School picnics were among the most highly anticipated annual events. They included children’s races (sack, three-legged, egg and spoon) as well as baseball games for all age groups. On Sports Day, in June each year, schools competed against one another in track and field events and baseball games. Practice times were limited to recess and noon hour and in smaller schools, the roster often reached well beyond the athletically inclined members of the classroom.


Carman Minto Hockey Team 1898-99. Our earliest sports photo so far.

Major holidays such as Victoria Day, Dominion Day and Labor Day were other occasions for enjoying amateur sporting events, including horse racing. The Dufferin Leader (1909-09-02) described plans for Labor Day in Carman: “They have succeeded in getting up horse races, foot races and baseball. A number of the best horses in the town and vicinity have been promised to enter in the races. The sports will be held in King's Park in the afternoon and will commence with a veteran's parade at 1.30 o’clock. This will pass through town and proceed to the park when the program of sports will commence….There will also be an old-timers' baseball game, five innings; an old-timers' race, contestants to be 55 years and upward. There will be a fat man’s race in which no contestant will be allowed to run unless weighing 200 lbs. and over. No charge will be made at the gate but a silver collection will be looked for and be it much or little the proceeds will be used to put the ball ground in shape for next season.

Now throw dull care away for one day and let yourself loose for the afternoon. The sports are not got up for gain or gate receipts but to let the people have a half day off to enjoy themselves.” Baseball teams took a break to watch key horse races then resumed play.

Grandstand and race track, built in 1921, roof added in 1930; burned in 2002.

Lacrosse team 1903. The game of choice until baseball gained popularity around 1910.

Front: Bert Bruce, Harry Stewart, Stan Cochran, Bill Stewart
Center: Aubrey Cochran, Walt Carr, Isaac Brookes, Tom Honeywell, Stan Rooney, ‘Tups’ Hemenway. Back: Chas. Stewart, Chas Olmstead, ‘Ike’ Coldwelll, Irvine McGill, Rob’t Allen, - Buchanan (not on team but wished to be in photo)

Men's Baseball Team 1905
Back Row: Rusty Fuller, Harold Ullyot, ? , Dr. Pirt, George Sills, Joe Brigden
Middle Row: Jos. Ardell, George Ardell, ?, Harry Morrison
Front Row: Bob Rutherford, Aaron Badger




One item that stands out by its absence is the lack of newspaper reports of women’s involvement in sports – other than serving at post-game banquets.

Our vintage photos indicate that there was some organized activity. Otherwise, the only newspaper report associating women and sports appeared in a school news item in The Dufferin Leader (1907-05-09) to the effect that “A basketball outfit has been ordered for the use of the girls of the senior grade.”

Bates Basketball Team 1907. Evidence that some women played sports.
Back Row: Ida Shunk, Mabel Brown, Mary Barry, Hilda August, Mabel Millhouse
Middle Row: Eva Barry, Alma McMinn, Miss Taylor, Zetta Millhouse, Miss West
Front Row: Ethel Gowan, Kate Brown


Swastiki Hockey Club 1920
Back Row: Irene Mattison, Alma Rothwell, Tom McCormick (coach), Frances Tomney, L. Snydall
Front Row: Lena Galbraith, Mary Brown, Reita Harris



Early Ladies’  Hockey team (no date recorded – possibly 1920s). Love the toques.
Back Row: ?, F.S. McCoy, Lil Jamieson, Tom McCormick, Violet Johnston
Front Row: Alma Brigden (Porter), Miss McLean, Ida Johnston, Ida Miller





McCormick School Cup Winners 1908
Back Row: Jim Roblin, Fred Garnett, Eric Watson, Tom McCormick, Blaine Haverson
Center Row: Frank McCoy, Mr. Plewes, Cecil Carr
Front Row: Harold Morrison, Jack Sexsmith





Winners McCormick School Cup 1911






School Hockey Team (no name or year)
Back Row: Eric Watson, Tom McCormick
Center Row: Bill Miller, Con Yuill, Harry Johnston, Ginger Cochran
Front Row: ‘Boney’ McPherson, Harry McKerlie





Even then, sports were a source of fund-raising. The Dufferin Leader (1911-03-09) reported on

“An interesting and amusing game of curling [that] took place on Saturday afternoon between rinks skipped by Messrs. George Harper and J. H. Haverson, the losers to pay for a bag of flour for the General Hospital. All those taking part were veterans, at least so far as years were concerned, but some of them had never taken part in a game before and others had not done so for years. The curling may not have been of the most scientific variety, the stones may not have been played to a hair’s breadth and the “turn” may have been put on wrong sometimes, but the game was close and exciting, everyone was deeply interested, and there was lots of fun, even for the spectators.”

Curlers in the first Carman rink on Fournier St. (1st. St SW) near present location of Toews Printing.






The Dufferin Leader (1911-01-26) also provides an account of an exhibition hockey match between a team from Eaton’s Mail Order in Winnipeg and the local Carman team. About 900 were in attendance at the match which was played in the first Carman rink. Seems the match itself was the least exciting part of the evening.

“The Winnipeg contingent arrived by C P. R at about 9 o’clock and numbered at least 250.” The rink already being crowded, “quite a number of young men climbed up on the crossbeams that support the roof, and this was the cause of a serious and most deplorable accident to one of them. They had been ordered down both by the game officials and Chief of Police Hansen, but though told repeatedly that the game could not proceed while they were up aloft, they made no move to comply. Chief Hansen was then asked to go up and dislodge them, and was just proceeding to climb, when … [one man] lost his balance and fell on the ice a distance of about twelve feet. He was rendered unconscious by the fall, and as it was seen he was somewhat severely hurt he was taken to the General Hospital, where he was attended to by Dr. McGavin. It was found that his right knee-cap bad been broken, the skull slightly fractured and his face cut. He recovered consciousness in a couple of hours, and made such good progress that be was removed to his home in the city on Monday.…The game itself had no outstanding features, there being no particularly brilliant individual plays or rushes.… After the game the ladies of the town served an informal luncheon for the visitors in the S. O. E. Hall, a large number partaking of the good things provided in abundance. The visitors left for home by special train about midnight.”


Carman Curling Team Winnipeg Bonspiel Winners, 1923
L to R: Dr. Will Smith, James Land, Joe Stone, Richard KilletL to R: Dr. Will Smith, James Land, Joe Stone, Richard Killet








Carman Shamrock Hockey Club 1934
Back Row: T. Hodgson, D. Woods ((Ref.), E. Turnbull , T. North, K. Watson, T. Colvin
Middle Row: K. Cochran, H. Bowie, D. Jones, D. Aimoe, R. Butcher
Front Row: H. Drake, H. Billing (goal), F. Cummer




Many will still recall the second Carman rink that stood at the SE corner of Villard (Main St.) and Walnut (2nd Ave. SE) from 1928 to 1958 when the roof crumbled under the weight of snow.




Winter, and with it, came time off from the heaviest farm work and time for hockey and curling. Most small villages had a skating and hockey rink, often with a separate small area for curling matches. The local men’s hockey circuit was quite competitive, playing and hosting teams from a 10 to 20 mile radius of local communities. It also was an opportunity for social contacts. One young bachelor confided in the van driver on his way home from a local hockey match that he had just seen the girl he was going to marry — she was watching the game. He returned to a box social the next month and made sure he bid high enough to win the young lady’s lunch box and company for the evening. They later were married for many long happy years. At their funerals, their family related how their parents always thanked the game of hockey.

Teams were being formed in local communities but what could you do back in the 1890s if your local school or club was small and couldn’t afford lacrosse equipment? The Carman Standard (1890-07-24) had the answer. Play nobbies — “a very cheap imitation of the national game of lacrosse.” It requires nobbies, made by fastening two small rubber balls about 1½ inches diameter (or two wooden balls) together with a round leather thong, leaving about 8 inches between the balls. Sticks can be obtained out of the bush — three feet long, the thickness of a boy’s thumb, with a small crook about ½ to ¾ inches long protruding at an angle of about 120 degrees at one end. Goal posts are about 5 ft. high, 6 ft. apart with a string across the top. The game was played on a field about 100 ft. wide and 100 yds. long. Eight players to a side played in positions as laid out in a diagram in the newspaper. The object, as in other games, was to get the nobbies through the goal. We found no records of a regular nobbies league however one newspaper excerpt noted that the north town team beat the south side in a game of nobby so it must have had some level of interest. A lot of present-day hockey parents would envy the low cost of equipment.